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  • 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017
  • Project No: 317
  • Funding round: FR 11

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of pain and disability and typically affects the hand, knee and hip joints.  Pain relief is the main reason why patients with OA see GPs.  However, previous research has shown that current medications such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by GPs are not always effective for pain, or that they can lead to serious side-effects such as stomach ulcers or stomach bleeding.  It is therefore important that we carry out scientific research into other treatments that could be offered to patients and which are safe as well as effective for symptoms of OA.

There is an increasing amount of interest in researching herbal extracts to help with the symptoms of OA.  Herbal extracts are readily available for patients to buy and appear to be increasingly popular in the UK.  One herb in particular is called rosehip, whose scientific name is Rosa canina.  This has been widely used, especially in European countries, for symptoms of joint pain and stiffness and there is laboratory research to suggest that active ingredients in rosehip can reduce joint inflammation and pain.  A scientific summary of the research involving 3 randomised controlled trials suggests that rosehip can help patients with symptoms of OA.  However, there have now been at least 3 new trials published and a new updated scientific summary of this research needs to be carried out.  In this study, we will collect and summarise information from all relevant randomised controlled trials.  This study will allow GPs and patients to know whether or not rosehip can be recommended for symptoms of OA of the hip, hand and knee and whether or not more research into Rosa canina for OA is needed.

Amount awarded: £20,790

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.